There was a time, not too long ago, in the history of the World Music Show, in which the show aired on Saturday afternoons. And in that two-hour time slot, the music was a tad different. Sure, it was still World Music--but it was a just a bit safer. In fact, there were a few times in those seasons, that an entire hour was dedicated to playing "Kids World Music." So, on this week's World Music Show (11/23), we're going to recapture a bit of that spirit.
Now, before you run for the hills, thinking that the type of kid's music being spun is better suited for a Saturday morning extended commercial, designed to make you (and your kids) cover your ears and run for cover, think again. On the contrary, these songs are beautiful, soulful and even bouncy--but in a good way. And, instead of just one hour of nothing but "Kids World Music," the songs you'll hear this week are peppered throughout. In fact, If I didn't call out that some of the songs you'll hear are in fact "Kids World Music," then you'd be none the wiser. So, if you want to, you can wake the kids up or perhaps you should maybe just invest in some of the CDs you'll hear tonight, because that may save you some cranky attitudes later on.
Kicking off this kid's infused show will be a couple of Brazilian tunes, one from Marissa, who often sings for the band BossaCucaNova (the band that opens every World Music Show). The other track is from a stalwart of the Brazilian music scene, Gilberto Gil. And not only is he one of the most famous singers in Brazil, he's also been the Minister of Culture. Following them will be a couple more tunes from some Brazilians--one who also has a foothold on the history of Brazilian and Tropicalia music, and another who has cemented her future not only in that country, but abroad as well. We'll hear from the great Tom Ze and from the lovely voice of Ceu.
In another chunk of tunes, we'll hear some classic Italian music--is it kids music? No, but it's fun. In fact, the voice of Roy Paci (backed by his band Aretuska) sort of reminds me of an Italian Tom Waits. It helps that Paci infuses his music with hints of reggae, ska, swing, jazz and a little bit of pop music. Thrown into this mix will be a Cajun tune by Beau Jocque and the Zydeco Hi-Rollers, some spiritual music by the Golden Voice of Africa, who is also a direct descedant of the Malian empire, Salif Keita and a bluesy, soulful track by Great Britian's Michael Kiwanuka.
By now, you may be wondering about the person in this week's top picture (go ahead and click on them, by the way, three are posted). That's musician Dan Zanes. Now, if you have kids and like really cool music for them and you, then you may know him (he recently played a show at the Modlin Center). Or if you know you're 80s alternative music, you may remember him as a member of the band the Del Fuegos (and for extra points, you may remember the singer Julianna Hatfield mentioning the Del Fuegos in one of her songs, but I digress). In any event, Zanes has a way of mixing great World Music talent into some really enjoyable songs. We'll hear two of his tracks, one that features the singer Barbara Brousal, and another that features Natalie Merchant--doing a great cover of the classic Scottish song "Loch Lomond."
Paired with those tracks will be a bunch of songs--a trifecta really, by The Chieftains. They'll cover Van Morrison's classic "Have I Told You Lately, that I Love You?," which features the man himself. And, off their latest CD "Voice of Ages," we'll hear songs in which they're paired with the Carolina Chocolate Drops and The Decemberists. Then, closing out the show will be song from the epic release by the Buena Vista Social Club, "De Camino a La Vereda," which features the seasoned voice of Ibrahim Ferrer.
For the second hour, we'll continue splicing in some "Kids World Music," along with some other styles of music (all in an effort to confuse you). We'll start with some stellar guitar music, including some desert blues music from Niger from the artist Bombino, followed by some Flamenca music from the South of France from the Gipsy Kings. And we'll hear from an artist who at one time, apparently had a swimming pool in the shape of a guitar, King Sunny Ade (and another heir to royalty--hence the "king" in his name). Plus, piggybacking on the end of just this first bit of music will be a track from Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
For the "Kids" part, we'll hear a few tracks from Ziggy Marley, off his CD "Family Time," which features guest stars Jack Johnson, Paula Fuga and Toots Hibert. Plus, we'll hear a couple of songs off his CD "Wild and Free," that features songs that have guests Heavy D and actor Woody Harrelson (yes, and he's good).
To close out the rest of the show, we'll hear from Brazil's Seu Jorge, some loungy music from Ursula 1000 and a duo that pairs Brian Eno and David Byrne (and we'll hear Byrne doing some great Latin dance music from his CD "Rei Momo").
After both hours, I think you'll agree that Kids music or not, there'll be something for everyone to enjoy. The World Music Show aires Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. on 88.9FM or online on this website. Plus, you can follow the show on Twitter @wcveworldmusic.